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$950 Meta 2 Augmented Reality Headset Now Available For Preorder: Should HoloLens And HTC Vive Worry?

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Augmented reality system maker Meta has already commenced taking orders for its $949 Meta 2 AR headset, a few days after HTC and Microsoft started accepting preorders for Vive and HoloLens.

This high-end augmented reality dev kit from Meta allows hand interaction with digital content. The company touts this feature as a breakthrough in the AR arena as it enables users to feel, grab and move digital objects.

The Meta 2 boasts a 90-degree field of view, which is wider than what HoloLens is offering. Vive, in the meantime, has offers a field of view of about 110 degrees. The Meta's transparent headset sports a 2,560 x 1,440 resolution. On top of that, the Meta 2 includes four built-in speakers.

The AR headset from Meta, however, is still tethered – it is connected to a Windows 8 or 10 personal computer, via a 9-foot HDMI 1.4b or DisplayPort cable, for it to run. Mac support for Meta 2 is said to be on its way. As compared with HoloLens, Microsoft said that its AR headset is totally wireless.

This AR headset supports apps like Adobe Creative Suite, Microsoft Office and Spotify. Users can also wear the headset while wearing glasses. What's more, Meta 2 rocks a brightness and volume control.

Meta says this version of the headset is built particularly with developers in mind. Developers can build apps using the Unity 3D graphics engine.

The AR system maker is presently working with a few developers in creating applications for the most recent version of its AR in an effort to enhance the way people converse, join forces and engage with information and with each another.

The company is partnering, for instance, with Christian Jacob, a University of Calgary professor, to develop apps which will provide a new approach in studying the human body along with its physiology.

"The potential for augmented reality to enhance teaching ... and medicine is incredibly exciting," said Jacob. "Not only is AR technology revolutionizing how we perceive anatomy as a subject and field, it's changing how we relate to our own bodies as we discover new ways of looking at what's inside of us."

A report from TechCrunch says that the Meta 2 is okay "still pretty unfashionable, but also really amazing."

Digital Trends, in the meantime, says that the Meta 2 dev kit makes Microsoft's HoloLens look like an "expensive toy."

Last month, Meta CEO Meron Gribetz introduced the Meta 2 AR headset at TEDx 2016. The company promises to ship its latest AR headset to those who preordered in the third quarter of this year.

Those who wish to place their order may head to Meta's website.

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